HOME > Chowhound > Southern New England >

Discussion

Top 5 Cheap Eats in Fairfield County?

Where and what type of food? What do you order? Just because it is cheap doesn't always mean fresh, I want fresh yummy food. Any new places or secret places you can tell me. I won't tell anyone!
What about breakfast also?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Letizia's (Norwalk), Rawley's, Super Duper Weenie, Pepe's, S&S Dugout, Firehouse Deli (Fairfield), Coffee An' Donuts (Westport), Merritt Canteen (Bridgeport). enjoy fb

    1 Reply
    1. re: frankbooth

      funy you mentioned Firehouse as a cheap eats place - we think it's one if the most overpriced delis in Fairfield. I much prefer A&S for both quality and price, but Firehouse does make a good eggsalad sandwich.

    2. In no order

      - Giovanni's on North St (Eggplant Parm)- STM;
      - BSF (Burgers)- Greenwich;
      - Colony Pizza (Hot Oil) - STM;
      - The Lime (Cajun Chicken Wrap) - Norwalk;
      - Rosie's (Vegetarian on Ciabatta) - NC

      15 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        Penang Grill on Lewis St in Greenwich. Yes, an unlikely place for cheap eats... but it's not only cheap, it's FABULOUS! Eat in or take out. Go!!

        1. re: menton1

          I think it's relative. I find Penang rather expensive. Not compared to its next door neighbor, Jean Louis, or probably the rest of greenwich, but compared to what's found up 95 a few miles, I find it to be pretty expensive. Not that it isn't tasty, just it isn't too cheap either. For me, at least.

          nbermas.. for breakfast (I'm a broken record) the Lakeside special is $5 and you can substitute in a half stack of pancakes too. It comes with two eggs, sausage or bacon, home fries, french toast (or pancakes) and toast. That's a good deal for me...

          There are others too, but my brain isn't working properly. I'll mull it over the weekend and think of some good stuff. Like the latin stuff in norwalk, etc...

          1. re: adamclyde

            adamclyde; I just went to your broken record Lakeside place we both were disgusted with the food. Not fresh had to have my order sent back 3 times before they got it right and I was not happy. Did you ask me about the new fried chicken place in stamford, went it it look but didn't get anything. I looked and smelled very fried. The more I eat out the more I just love my own cooking. I am clean and my food is Excellent.

            Sometimes you get what you pay for.

            1. re: nbermas

              hey, I stand by those lakeside pancakes! :) The place is nothing to write home about. but those pancakes... mmmmmmm. Anything beyond the pancakes and home fries are all I go for. (actually, the waffles and donuts aren't too bad). Sorry you didn't like the place... but do you know of better pancakes in stamford?

              the fried chicken place... good to know. Like I said, I never stepped foot into it. Just drove by and was curious if it were a hidden gem. Sounds like it's just hidden.

              1. re: adamclyde

                We didn't have the pancakes and i couldn't think of what you had said about what to order, but now i know. Thanks my friend. Any good meals lately? Have you tried monster B's?

                1. re: adamclyde

                  I agree, Lakeside's pancakes are the best. I've had pancakes that came close, though, at Parkway Diner.

                2. re: nbermas

                  One doesn't send a dish back even once in a diner (c'mon!)
                  You eat it or you leave it alone.

            2. re: jfood

              I was really disappointed in Colony's pizza.

              Great bar, family spot with traditional ambiance- but the food is mediocre at best.

              1. re: dinerfan

                the colony pie is iconic. the hot oil, the stingers, just press on your brain until you have to go back month after month.

                1. re: steve h.

                  Oily pizza doesn't do it for me. I've ruined too many shirts and burned too many holes in the roof of my mouth to wax poetic about it, but to each his or her own.
                  When I have to have it, and occasionally I do, I go to Atlantic Pizza, where I was introduced to the cheesy pie decades ago, across the street from the old YMCA where I swam on a mediocre team.

                2. re: dinerfan

                  colony does not serve food, it serves pizza. And the hot oil is what dreams are made of.

                  "family spot with traditional ambiance"? it's a bar that serves beer, not chocolate milk!! Oy

                  1. re: jfood

                    The restaurant side of it has been a local icon since I was in high school.

                    And that was not last week, btw.

                    1. re: dinerfan

                      Oops, jfood mis-read your syntax last night. You were saying both, apologies.

                      Jfood loves the pizza at Colony, loves to see kids there early enjoying as well. He would characterize it as a bar where kids are also welcomed to enjoy the food versus a family spot. Whatever.

                      Peace.

                3. re: jfood

                  Where is the place to get the eggplant parm?
                  I"m in Westchester.....

                  1. re: kelzy

                    Easy - LaManda's in white plains. Very inexpensive. Cash only. 75 years old, same family. probably no change in decor during that time frame. go early! say hi to Sal for me!

                4. Venezuelan Beach Food (arepas and a whole lot of other stuff)—Norwalk (near the Lime).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Elizzie

                    That place is called Valencia Luncheria. I finally got there, thanks to recs from a bunch of Chowhounds and it is ridiculously cheap for the good quality of food.
                    MANY options. You can get heavy corn muffin type food (I think those are the arepas) but I got a brie-blueberry salad for 8 bucks that would have cost 12 elsewhere.

                    Patricia Brooks talks about it in the Times:
                    http://events.nytimes.com/2005/10/09/...
                    a couple of years ago.

                  2. hamburgers -- bsf -- byram
                    hot dogs -- Costco darien (at lunch counter, hebe nats and drink buck fifty)
                    lobster rolls -- knapps landing stratford
                    pizza -- pizza bistro or colony stamford
                    fast sandwich -- hey, for value and speed, subway can't be beat.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: louuuuu

                      good call on the HN dogs at costco. great deal. BTW - they stopped selling the carnegie pastrami. it was awful.

                      1. re: jfood

                        and they are jumbo (2x regular) dogs to boot. Any Costco in America, Portchester, New Rochelle, Hackensack, Yonkers, Brookfield, etc.

                        btw, jfood, next time you are in Tampa (saw you on Flordia board) try Skyway Jack's in St. Pete (off 275) for breakfast. Best cheap eats in America.

                    2. A few more beyond those already mentioned:

                      1) Royal Guard Fish & Chips, Stamford. Reasonably authentic Fish, ok chips. Get the Haddock.
                      2) Giovanni's Deli, North St., Stamford. Italian deli, parm subs, etc.
                      3) Bachata, E. Main St., Stamford. Dominican restaurant, cafeteria-style. Excellent pernil, stews, soups.
                      4) Scotty's Fish & Chips, Stillwater Ave, Stamford. Cafeteria-style Jamaican. Curry chicken, curry goat, kingfish, stew chicken, rice & peas. Jerk chicken and pork may be better elsewhere, search around on this board.
                      5) Top Dog, Old Greenwich. Excellent dogs and sweet potato & regular fries.
                      6) Myrna's, E. Main, Stamford. Expensive to eat in, but reasonable and very good kibbe, falafel, other Lebanese fare.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: cteats

                        Nice calls, at least those I've tried.

                        Giovanni's does great sandwiches.

                        Myrna's is a gem.

                        Scotty's? I'll do it. The Jamaican angle threw me. Royal Guard & Bachata? New to me, I'll investigate.

                        Thanks!

                      2. Though I'm normally chain-o-phobic, believe it or not, I think Sierra Grille is pretty good. Not necessarily authentic (as I'm sure adamclyde will chime in), but reliable, cheap, and good. Basic tacos, burritos, etc. Everything fresh, no frozen, no canned goods, no lard, no microwaving. They have something called a fajita burrito (grilled peppers, instead of just beans...ask for it with grilled shrimp, which is a menu item, but not as part of that particular item...great fast lunch. Plus, you can get a beer, a nice touch at a fast-food place.

                        http://www.sierragrille.com/

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                          I have to second the Sierra Grille. The ingredients are super fresh and the free salsa's are excellent---esp. roasted tomato. We've tried Ole Mole, just steps away, and SG is every bit as good for half the price.

                        2. In the arena of breakfast, we like Johnny Cakes in Byram. The doughnuts are quite good, and they make a pretty decent egg sandwich. I haven't had any of the lunchtime food from there.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: shellyesq

                            shelleyesq; Never heard of johnny Cakes, what is it and where? it is just breakfast, woth a short trip? what do you get besides doughnuts, and egg sandwich?

                            1. re: nbermas

                              It's - literally - a stone's throw from Port Chester on the corner of Water and Delavan. When I went a while ago I wasn't thrilled, but I really didn't know what to order and I'm pretty sure there is good stuff there. My experience shouldn't be a measure.

                              -----
                              Johnny Cakes
                              6 N Water St, Greenwich, CT 06830

                              1. re: nbermas

                                There's a website with a menu: www.jcakes.net

                                I've never tried anything from there aside from what I mentioned, so I don't know if anything else is good. I don't know if it's really worth a trip from far away, but if you happen to be in the area, it might be worth a visit.

                            2. I can't think of 5 at the moment, but my favorite Chinese/Asian food is at Village Gourmet in the Cranberry area of Norwalk. They aren't "cheap" per se, but they are BYOB. So if you're looking for an inexspensive dinner out I recommend them. We order in from them a lot and I like pretty much everything I've tried, try any of their specials. I think they also have a location in Broad River on New Canaan Ave.

                              1. Jeff's Cuisine (in Norwalk) is good for barbecue - and the owners are really nice and friendly.
                                For pizza, Letizia's (on the Norwalk/Wilton line) is excellent, although there isn't much of a restaurant area.
                                Westfair Fish & Chips (in Westport) has the best fried clams - and a side order is huge - you can eat that for a meal - agin though, it's definitely more of a takeout place
                                Shanghai Cafe (in the same center as Letizia's) is my favorite for Chinese around here - even beats Village Gourment in my opinion - not as greasy and fresher meat and veggies
                                For burgers, my favorite is Burger Bar and Bistro (in Norwalk) but it's a little on the pricey side for burgers - and its a la carte, so you have to order fries separtely, but...the burgers are phenomenal.
                                For breakfast, I stick to SoNo Baking Company.
                                In Stamford, I like Capriccio (Bedford St.) is excellent, especially in summer, but the service is a bit spotty.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jemar

                                  j

                                  looks like you are in the same 'hood.

                                  For a change of pace on pizza, wander down to Fat Cat on Wall Street in Norwalk. Nice cracker crust. Polar opposite from L's sloppiness.
                                  For a change of pace for the burger go over the Cherry Street East in New Canaan as well. Jfood likes it better than Burger Bar.

                                  Ciao

                                2. Bradford's, Again

                                  I know I'm a broken record on this, but there is a good reason: the food is very, very good. And very cheap. And the people who work there are really, really nice.

                                  The owner had a plan, and it appears not to be working out as he had planned, for which I am sorry, and I try to do what I can to remedy that, which means spend ing too much time there and eating more than I should.

                                  I generally go for a salad, garlic bread and their French Onion SOup which is out of this world..

                                  I am, as my name suggests, a dinerfan, but why spend $20 on deep fried food and pancakes when you can get a $10 or $15 meal that is light, balanced, and satisfying in a non-PeptoBizmol way?

                                  I have not tried their brunch, but I have had their steak special, sauteed in white wine, with garlic and peppers which was out of this world.

                                  My enthusiasm is genuine.I want that place to thrive, and it might well not. Bedford Street rents have done in more formidable and well heeled entrants of greater ambition and less quality.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: dinerfan

                                    I was pleasantly surprised at Bradford's food. In an area with such rabid competition for bars; I've found Bradford's to be less noisy, less pretentious, and less "fratty" than a lot of the other places around. A good place to go out with some friends and enjoy the evening and some good food.

                                  2. On breakfast: the bacon, egg & cheese on a hard roll at Pat's Diner (around the corner from the Colony on Jefferson) is the perfect diner morning meal at about $3.

                                    1. I just had dinner at the bar of the new seafood restaurant - Mitchell's Fish Market (http://mitchellsfishmarket.com/) at the Stamford Mall. The food in the happy hour bar menu, which starts at 4pm each day, is only $2.95 each, which include cod slider, buffalo shrimp, hosin calamari, mussels, shrimp, fish taco etc., even though the portion is small, you cannot find fresh and tasty seafood with this price anywhere else, a few of them and a drink is an affordable and wonderful treat!

                                      If seafood is not your cup of tea, try Kona Grill next door, their 4-7pm happy hour half price menu are also decilious and great price!

                                      Both of them are only offered at the bar area.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: starferry

                                        I was in there shortly after they opened, and was only somewhat impressed. The happy hour menu, and the entire concept, sounds exactly like McCormick's Fish House. Are they under the same corporate umbrella?

                                        1. re: starferry

                                          great mention of the after 5 under 3 menu or something to that effect

                                          the buffalo shrimp with blue cheese slaw is outstanding

                                          also not really a bargain but the chopped salad at capitol grille for 8-9 is very large and delicious and a steal - can be big enough for a meal at capitol grille

                                        2. Hi there,

                                          Pretty much every place I can think of has been spoken for, though there are some interesting perceptions of what is "cheap" (i.e.- Rosie's, Penang, Firehouse).

                                          One place that I think can qualify given the amount of food you get for the buck is Fiesta in Stamford.

                                          1. I'll second Sierra Grill for good quality, cheap food. Although, eating in that place is way to "chain"ey. I'd also like to nominate Pane e Panini in SoNo. Great Paninis, but I'm going to go there and say they make maybe the best slice of pizza I've ever had. I said it.

                                            1. marios place for steaks in westport

                                              colony pizza in stamford for pizza and cheap beer in an OJ glass (stinger with hot oil is recommended - also the sweet onion)

                                              sierra grille stamford or norwalk for fresh mexican - or Ole Mole in Darien or Stamford

                                              crazy cheap is sergios pizza in stamford for greek salad, pizza and pasta and a cheap carafe of wine for an absolute bargain

                                              laylas falafel in stamford- get the arabic chicken shwarma platter with lentil rice- its heaven on earth (but very garlicky)

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: missmar79

                                                Absolutely dumbfounded at the show of hands for the Colony. The two times I have been there I have had really, really borderline fare: the first time a mediocre cheese pie, the second a mushroom pizza with barely enough tomato paste and cheese to cover the wafer-thin pie, and rubbery, canned shrooms.

                                                A lovely, kitchy, family owned spot, with a great two sided venue (restaurant and bar), but bad, bad pie in my experience.

                                                1. re: dinerfan

                                                  Only tourists order the mushrooms ;-)

                                                  Colony isn't where you go for a cheesy pie or a thick crust. What people love about it is the whole package - the thin crust, somewhat sweet sauce, the hot oil/stingers or meatball/onion/pepper combos, the fact that everything extends to the edge and there's not an overload of slop on top, and that you can eat a whole pie and still have room for another beer. Finally, nobody - nobody - has been able to duplicate that taste. A number have tried. It's simply a unique pie.

                                                  I grew up in Stamford and had my first adult beverages at the Colony some 30+ years ago. Moved away in the 90s. I'm back in town this week from Pittsburgh. Got in late last night. And I'll be at the Colony tonight.

                                                  FWIW, my wife, a Pittsburgher, doesn't get the Colony either. Pittsburgh has its own iconic pie. Beto's. And I can't stand it. Worst freaking pizza I've ever had - worse than the old Starlight Drive-In pizza (how's that for an oldey-time reference!). But Pittsburghers love their Beto's and will defend it to the death.

                                                  1. re: Panini Guy

                                                    pg; why is betos the worst freaking pizza ever?....and...have you ever been to primantis and if so, what is your opinion?

                                                    1. re: corky

                                                      Betos has a bread-like crust, which could be characterized as "loose crumb" in baking terms. Fans of Stouffer's frozen French Bread pizzas might like it. The crusts are put into full baking sheets and painted with a bland tomato sauce to bake. Once the base is ready, an overdose of your chosen toppings (canned or jarred everything, inferior cheese blend) are thrown cold onto the top of your squares and you're supposed to wait until they all "melt in" before eating it.

                                                      The net effect is that of having a square of school cafeteria pizza and dumping the rest of the stuff on your tray over it. Hopefully that answers your question.

                                                      I only go to Primanit's when visitors are in town and want to go there. Been there a number of times. It's not awful - I usually do the kielbasa and get the fried egg to boot. But I don't like the bread - Mancinis. If they changed the bread the sandwiches would be much better. If you're in Pittsburgh and want a sandwich to die for, look up Big Jim's on Saline St. near Schenley Park.

                                                    2. re: Panini Guy

                                                      Well, to each his or her own, but I might point out that eating the whole pie with no ill effects might suggest that there isn't much pie there.
                                                      I grew up here, but didn't make it to the Colony (we were North-Of -The-Parkway people, and my mom, bless her heart, had delusions of grandeur). Now I'm discovering all the remaining fun places and people I missed.
                                                      Maybe if it was a part of my rite of passage I'd be more kindly disposed toward Colony pizza, but I think probably not.

                                                2. Little Thai Kitchen in Darien is pretty reasonable. Same owners as the venue in Manhattan, lower prices up here though!

                                                  1. Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk (great for breakfast also)

                                                    http://hudsonvalleyfoodblog.com/valen...

                                                    Burgers, Shakes and Fries on Greenwich

                                                    http://hudsonvalleyfoodblog.com/BSF.html

                                                    Colony Pizza in Stamford

                                                    Fiesta (Peruvian) in Norwalk

                                                    Rawley's in Fairfield

                                                    1. I haven't seen La Salsa mentioned. I think they are a chain since I've seen a few around the area. This is no taco bell. They have really good shrimp tacos and an excellent, fresh salsa bar with great variety. The place in fairfield is the size of my car and i'm always amazed at how many people they fit behind the counter. My wife, who is no fan of "fast food" or mexican food, is addicted. I'm tired of getting the calls to stop there. Their tortilla chips are very good too. Not overly salty. Cheap for sure!

                                                      1. -Colony Pizza (Stamford)
                                                        -Fiesta (Stamford)

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: krystle920

                                                          pffft to the colony. Overrated Irish air-pizza

                                                          "Let the people know"

                                                        2. They had a fire, the food was good and reasonable before, but the setting was...shall we say, less than ...It was like eating in your grandmothers kitchen, lighting and all. Now HOLY COW! nice dining room, great food, great prices, yes its a club...sign in, and your good to go! Oh yeah its on the water too, but if you go for dinner you may have a tough time seeing it.

                                                          -----
                                                          Ischoda Galley
                                                          138 Water St, Norwalk, CT 06854

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: jillcooks

                                                            What restaurant are you talking about?

                                                          2. Tacos Mexico in East Norwalk
                                                            http://www.ctbites.com/home/2009/7/19...

                                                            Valencia Luncheria in Norwalk (BYOB
                                                            )http://www.ctbites.com/home/2009/8/19...

                                                            Taste of Brazil in Norwalk (Great Lunch buffet, Monday and Wednesday all you can eat $10) - almost across the street from Valencia

                                                            Any Ikea

                                                            6 Replies
                                                              1. re: adamclyde

                                                                Adam: Any new spots in Stamford or Norwalk like meets your l$ palate as we all need $ great food lately. Happy New Year!

                                                                1. re: adamclyde

                                                                  No love for their Swedish meatballs?

                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                    I was just there today with the family, actually and my wife had the swedish meatballs. They were gross. Tasted like frozen Costco meatballs in a bland gravy. I ordered nothing, saving my $$ for the New Haven taco trucks parked only a mile away. :-)

                                                                    1. re: adamclyde

                                                                      which trucks are good in NEW Haven? Where do you find them and what are they called? Ikea wouldn't be a choice but of well. Happy New Year and you didn't answer if there are any new spots in Stamford area?????

                                                                      1. re: nbermas

                                                                        Sorry... I read that other post/question a few times and couldn't really understand what you'd been asking! :)

                                                                        As for the New Haven taco trucks... There's one called Nexcalli that has some good tacos (tacos placero). There's a really divey truck called Santa Apolonia that sells great cemitas. All of them are parked on Long Wharf Dr.

                                                                        You can see pictures of them here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25117438...

                                                                        As for other places in Stamford... nothing new that I've found that others haven't already talked about here on these boards...